The EDO ACT actively engages in policy and law reform of ACT and Federal environmental laws. Our law reform engagement is informed by:
- our specialist knowledge as public interest environmental lawyers
- the experiences of the community organisations we represent
- incorporating and synthesising the knowledge of expert environmental scientists
- environmental law experience in other States and Territories (through membership of the Australian Network of EDOs) and worldwide (through the Environmental Law Alliance)
Our law reform activities often involve submissions to government or parliamentary inquiries; reports and projects; and policy advice to government as a member of an expert panel or stakeholder reference group.
Community Legal Education
Our educational programs and resources are designed to build community knowledge and capacity by enabling members of the public to become informed participants in environmental decision-making.
Our resources include:
- the ACT Environmental Law Handbook
- factsheets on environmental law matters of community importance
- quarterly newsletters with recent developments in the environmental law
- EDO ACT educational programs such as
- environmental law themed seminars for the community and interested professions
- seminars for the ACT Law Society which form part of its continuing (and compulsory) professional development series
- a partnership with the ANU to provide an environmental law clinical program.
Legal Advice and Litigation
The EDO ACT offers legal advice to individuals, environmental organisations and community councils on ACT environmental law matters or matters in the ACT concerning Commonwealth environmental law.
The EDO offers free initial legal advice of up to two hours on environmental law matters. We may also provide ongoing representation for matters of environmental and community interest.
In recent years, the EDO has helped in matters such as appeals on development approvals; the impact of changes to ACT planning, environment and heritage legislation; pollution offences (including noise pollution); protection of listed species and ecosystems; tree management and protection; nuisance and negligence; and Freedom of Information requests.
EDO ACT has been providing support to individuals and community groups on environmental law issues since 1995. We are the only community legal centre in the ACT that specialises in public interest environmental issues. We rely on donors to help fund these critical services. Your support is vital in ensuring that individuals and community groups have access to environmental justice. Make your donation online here.